This is part of a series of posts about my recent trip to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, planned in celebration of finishing the bar exam and our third wedding anniversary. There will be a post for each of the 13 days of the trip, from Edinburgh to St. Andrew’s to the Lake District to Liverpool to Dublin to Northern Ireland to Stonehenge to Oxford and finally, to London. At the end of each post, you’ll find a summary of where we STAYED, ATE, and EXPLORED each day. <3
After our whirlwind first day and night in Edinburgh, we got up early on Day 3 to head to Waverly station to pick up our first rental car. Booked through the Ryanair car hire service, rented from Europcar, we finally got into our “supermini” two-door Opel Corsa and were on our way. I drove to St. Andrew’s, so I was the first to experience driving on the right (wrong) side of the car and the left (wrong) side of the road. Thankfully traffic was manageable getting out of Edinburgh, the roads to St. Andrew’s were small but beautiful, and we found parking in the middle of St. Andrew’s on Market Street, walkable to all of our destinations.
After grabbing a quick cup of coffee and using the free wifi at Costa, we walked to our first stop: the Old Course at St. Andrew’s Links. Known as the “home of golf” because golf was played here as early as the 1450s, the club was officially established in 1552 after King James IV lifted the ban on golfing instituted and upheld by his predecessors. Shane is a huge golf fan, so he was particularly excited to see the course. Even though people were playing, we were able to walk through the course on footpaths, and even sneak onto the iconic Swilken Bridge on the 18th hole.
On the recommendation of a local guide at the iCentre (located on Market Street), we then walked up the Links to the Jigger Inn, situated within the Old Course Hotel. Here, we had our first fish and chips experience of the trip (and one of the best!) and a pint of Jigger Ale. We sat outside for lunch and drinks, and watched several groups of golfers play the famous Road Hole.
St. Andrew’s is situated on the coast, with beautiful views of River Eden feeding into the North Sea. We walked past the Royal & Ancient Golf Club to venture out onto the small beach and take in the views. After snagging some pictures in front of the deep blue water and watching a few kids jump off the cliffs into the icy water, we headed up North Street. We saw the exterior of some beautiful buildings, like St. Salvator’s Chapel (est. 1450) and All Saint’s Church (built much more recently in the 20th century). We turned up Castle Street to marvel at the ruins of the 13th century ruins of St. Andrew’s Castle, and ran into a Scottish wedding proceeding down to the beach for pictures.
We continued walking up the Scores to arrive at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in 1158 and among its ruins you can still see the older St. Rule church tower, the Cathedral’s tower and much of its nave, and expansive burial grounds (resting place of both Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, 19th century pioneers of golf at St. Andrew’s Links).
Before we bought postcards and headed out of town, we stopped at Fisher & Donaldson for some exquisite chocolates. They made for a good road trip snack as we drove the 3.5 hours from St. Andrew’s to England’s Lake District.
STAY: the previous night we had stayed in Edinburgh, and immediately after our day in St. Andrew’s we drove to Keswick in the Lake District
EAT: Jigger Inn in the Old Course Hotel // eat outside for up-close-and-personal views of the Road Hole // great fish & chips // mains $13-20/pp + Fisher & Donaldson // hand-crafted pastries and chocolates by the pound
EXPLORE: Old Course at St. Andrew’s Links (free to walk to the course, no tour needed) // beautiful beaches and coastline // St. Andrew’s Castle // St. Andrew’s Cathedral
If we had more time: putting for 9 or 18 holes for just £3/pp at the Himalayas on the Links // British Golf Museum // exploring more of the working University